September 30, 2010

What is the sound of 250,000 signs yelling?

New York City must change every single street sign because the federal the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices adopted a rule against all caps. 250,000 signs X $110 per replacement.

Now, now. It's a lot of money. But you know all caps is the same as yelling.

149 comments:

Pogo said...

Just imagine how much money Obamacare will save now that these guys are in charge.

Pogo said...

Imagine the stimulus should the feds discover Comic Sans.

Comrade X said...

Wait a minute. I thought it was racist for locals to carry out federal law.

Paul Zrimsek said...

The bad news: no sooner will the change be done than the federal manual on deeply affected hipsterism will force them to change the signs to lower-case only.

The good news: Once the sign is changed to "joey ramone place", people will stop stealing it.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that great minds must think alike. Pogo has already made my points.

Meade said...

CITY TO OBAMA: DROP DEAD

Lincolntf said...

Love these people's priorities. Can we safely assume that every schoolkid in NY has adequate supplies/textbooks/transportation?

Good, then I don't want to hear squat about any budget woes.

And I don't want to hear any BS about how some money can only be spent on certain things because of its source, blah, blah, blah...
It all comes from one source: the taxpayers. And then it goes to the Government where 85% is lopped off the top for their own maintenance and pleasure before the remaining pittance is thrown at garbage like eye-pleasing road signs.

Lem said...

They should phase them in.
Whenever one needs to be replaced, replace it with one that comports to the new rule.

Or.. put them on Ebay and recoup the taxpayer money.

This is the kind of BS that drives the tea parties nuts.

Because I Said So said...

Yay, the apocolypse is finally here!

AJ Lynch said...

Maybe the Sec. Of Transportation, Ray LaHood, should have a sign in his office that reads "Mr. Obama Tear Down This Damn Bureaucracy" in a clearview font of course.

AJ Lynch said...

Don't you think it is hilarious how these stories get around via internet and the stories are just killing these dumb asses we put in charge? Politicians may have to start putting a bag over their heads when they are out in public.

The Crack Emcee said...

"All caps is the same as yelling."

But it's fucking New York - I SAID IT'S FUCKING NEW YORK!

What's the matter with you?

Pogo said...

Next the Feds can can turn its attention to the vexing question as to whether toilet paper should be put 'over' or 'under'.

MadisonMan said...

Somewhere, a bureaucrat -- or three -- is justifying their Federal Paycheck by making decisions like this.

Note how it's 'The Federal Highway Administration' that makes the decision, not a particular individual who has interpreted the rule this way as part of their job.

Why don't they publish that person's -- or group of people's -- name?

Bob_R said...

Nanny gets nannied! My freude knows no schaden. I'M WALKIN' HERE!

TMink said...

Must be the commerce claws at work.

Trey

edutcher said...

Your tax dollars at overwork.

Meade said...

CITY TO OBAMA: DROP DEAD

Your lips to God's ears. Wouldn't it be loverly if The Zero lost a few urban bastions like Gotham in '12?

(Assuming he's the nominee)

Lem said...

They should phase them in.
Whenever one needs to be replaced, replace it with one that comports to the new rule.


That would mean they'd all have to be put up over the weekend. This is the Big Apple, after all.

Michael said...

Madison Man: "Why don't they publish that person's -- or group of people's -- name?"

Here's why. They work as a "team" and there is no "I" in "team." They go to conferences to watch Powerpoint presentations that show them how to cooperate with each other (communicate, interact, interface, etc) so that the decision making process is a.) extended as long as possible, b.) involves as many people as possible (buy-in, take ownership, etc.) c.)is nobody's responsibility in case of failure d.)is everybody's project in case of success. This is how large organizations with no profit objectives are run.
Hope this helps.

Hagar said...

The article does not state that the FHWA has mandated an immediate change-over to the new style, and in fact, I do not think they have any authority to do so. This appears to have been a decision made in the City of New York bureaucracy, since even the State Highway Dept. would only have jurisdiction on designated State highways.

themightypuck said...

It is easy to cherry pick bureaucracy's greatest misses. This doesn't prove the need to get rid of building codes and safety regulations. We need bureaucracies and we need eternal vigilance in keeping our eyes on them.

DaveW said...

This kind of crap coming soon to your doctor's office.

Wait. Let me guess. Soon we'll hear how this created or saved 250,000 jobs, right?

former law student said...

The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices was revised and published by the American Association of State Highway Officials until the Nixon Regime's Department of Transportation wrested control away in 1971.

Now we see what havoc that decision created.

Quayle said...

A fatwā from the FHWA.

Big Mike said...

The Federal Highway Administration says the switch will improve safety because drivers identify the words more quickly when they're displayed that way - and can sooner return their eyes to the road.

Is there any scientific basis for that assertion? Because, as a general rule, the larger the letters the easier it is to read. To me the all-caps "PERRY" is easier to read than "Perry." Am I the only one who feels this way?

former law student said...

Soon we'll hear how this created or saved 250,000 jobs, right?

The requirement to eliminate all caps was promulgated by GW Bush's Federal Highway Administration in the 2003 Manual. They did allow fifteen whole years for the changeover, generous given that the typical street sign lasts ten years.

Fellow Republicans, heal thyselves.

Pogo said...

"It is easy to cherry pick bureaucracy's greatest misses. This doesn't prove the need to get rid of building codes and safety regulations."

False. It proves that the state quickly overreaches, and grabs control wherever it can, so its power must be rigorously circumscribed.

And it does add to other evidence that in fact we do need to get rid of some building codes and safety regulations.

kimsch said...

Pogo - Over.

Pogo said...

fls, statism -whether by GOP or Democrats- is still evil.

The fact that Nixon and Bush, no foes to statism they, loved excessive power grabs, gives me no pause.

Scott M said...

Fellow Republicans, FLS? As in, other members like yourself?

Big Mike said...

Hmmm. I checked the poll in the linked article and discovered that, by a 2:1 margin, the readers agree that the new signs will be easier to read than the old. I just don't see it.

DaveW said...

Sorry fls, Bush left office 2 years ago. Obama is responsible for the behavior of the bureaucracy now.

And I'm with kimsch. Definitely over.

MadisonMan said...

It doesn't seem like this will actually cost extra money, however, given that signs DO wear out and eventually have to be replaced.

It is silly to specify the font of a sign, and it's silly that the Government cares. I assume the Feds withhold money if the change is not made. Don't like the law? Forego the money -- or change the law.

themightypuck said...

@Pogo,

All organizations grow to the point of overreach. This is why free markets are such a wonderful thing. They mercilessly punish over reachers. I agree that government needs to be circumscribed precisely because it is a monopoly. With guns and tanks and whatnot. Still, in order to have safety codes and building regulations you are bound to get some silly ones. The hard question is how to promote the good stuff and limit the bad stuff.

Lincolntf said...

Only a fool would defend current day bureaucratic idiocies by citing previous bureaucratic idiocies as precedent.
Or a Liberal.

Sofa King said...

Is there any scientific basis for that assertion?

Yes, there is.

http://clearviewhwy.com/ResearchAndDesign/

FWIW, I noticed on my drive through Madison two weekends ago that the freeway signs there have already been changed over. I was trying to figure out what font they had used, and now I know!

Hagar said...

This sort of thing is subject to the Golden Rule, i.e., "Whoever controls the gold gets to rule."

The FHWA thus gets to make rules for projects funded with Federal grant money, but has no say otherwise.

The MUTCD is one of their better publications, but State and local governments have no obligation to follow the recommended practices unless there is Federal funds involved, which there should not be for local street signs, unless of course, the City of New York has applied for, and received, "stimulus" money for this boondoggle.

tim maguire said...

There have been studies showing that all caps is harder to read than normal mixed case printing. However, unless there is a problem with accidents caused by people trying to make out the all caps sign (there probably are accidents from hard to read signs, but it's not because of all caps), it's just asinine to swap them out just for that reason.

AJ Lynch said...

I noticed some years back that the street signs in S.F. included a placement about a half-block before you got to an intersection so you had advance notice of the upcomimg street name if you were looking to turn. I found that very useful but did not see a need to mandate that everywhere.

Lincolntf said...

I'd like to see ONE instance of capital letters on a street sign causing an accident. Ever, anywhere.

former law student said...

Being a Republican allowed me to vote for Mitt Romney (instead of the elderly McCain), Steve Poizner (instead of illegal immigrant employer Meg Whitman), and the great Tom Campbell (instead of California job destroying narcissist Carly Fiorina). If any state needs Republicans to provide balance in its governing, it's California.

Brian said...

Doesn't this mean we should replace the STOP signs with "Stop"?

DaveW said...

I tri-fold my towels though. I expect to get cited for that when they get the bathroom and TP police up and running.

Hagar said...

It never ceases to amaze me that, as pre-occupied as the media are with official construction projects, they apparently cannot be bothered to make any effort whatever to find out how the system works, and the same seems to apply to most of the commenters on this thread.

#1. The Golden Rule applies to all projects.

#2. The Contractor is only obliged to construct the project in accordance with the Plans and Specifications, and on a properly administered project is under constant observation by the Owner, or the Owner's Representative, and should not be able to move a finger without the Owner knowing about it.

downtownlad said...

Wow. Lots and lots and lots of stupid people on this blog. All blaming Obama.

My oh my - you are all idiots.

This regulation was passed in 2003, under George Bush and a Republican Congress. And it was done with a 15 year phase-in. So it doesn't have to be finished until 2018. And street signs are normally replace through wear and tear anyway.

It not only has more clear lettering, but they are easier to read at night.

As a New Yorker, it sounds like a good regulation to me, and with a 15 year phase in, I doubt it will cost that much more than would normally be paid for maintenance.

But if you're a teatard - this might be a little too complex to understand, because it doesn't fit into your narrow, simplistic, worldview.

GMay said...

FLS reviving his "I am a Republican" line and downtownlad rolling his face across the keyboard. All is well over at Althouse's place.

Hagar said...

To repeat:

This sort of thing is subject to the Golden Rule, i.e., "Whoever controls the gold gets to rule."

The FHWA thus gets to make rules for projects funded with Federal grant money, but has no say otherwise.

The MUTCD is one of their better publications, but State and local governments have no obligation to follow the recommended practices unless there is Federal funds involved, which there should not be for local street signs, unless of course, the City of New York has applied for, and received, "stimulus" money for this boondoggle.

AJ Lynch said...

"All blaming Obama".

Wrong. Most of us are blaming this on the trend to a bigger and more intrusive govt. Obama just happens to be the current misguided advocate for that trend. But thankfully he too will pass.

downtownlad said...

It's a 15 year phase in that will save lives. Possibly my life.

Good.

Scott M said...

@Gmay

Indeed. By the way...when are we going to get an email group going so we can get AGS (Althouse Grognard Society) going? Slogan idea: "No Current Events...All Heavy Cavalry"

WV - "flatio" tapeworm oral sex

jaltcoh said...

It's inaccurate to say that complying with this regulation will cost $110 x 250,000 (around $27 million). That's just the gross cost of the new signs in title case. The net cost is probably much smaller, since you need to subtract the amount NYC would have spent on new signs if the regulation didn't exist. As the article says, NYC already routinely replaces its street signs once a decade. It isn't an obviously bad policy to tell the city to use more readable lettering when it does this.

SteveR said...

Ironically enough on this date in 1965, "The Eve of Destruction" was the number one song.

Pogo said...

We're blaming statism.

It's a disease that Thomas Friedman admires.

And it doesn't save lives, it cannot help but to take them. Over 100 million in the 20th century.

One more try!!, cry the statists.

Scott M said...

"The Eve of Destruction" was the number one song

There was a huge explosion this morning just down the road as a transformer blew out. I noticed that not one person in the office mentioned, jokingly or not, terrorists.

Apparently we absorbed that one.

jaltcoh said...

Scott M: That's the funniest one of those things I've ever seen.

downtownlad said...

Why doesn't the city sell the old signs and make a profit? I would buy the one for my street.

Pogo said...

"It isn't an obviously bad policy to tell the city to use more readable lettering when it does this."

It is an obviously bad policy for the federal government to force the city to use more readable lettering.

In short, it's none of their goddamn business.

Scott M said...

Given the fact that debates here, regardless of what we think, are just the like the Special Olympics, meeting each other on the fields of TW:Empire or Civ, etc, etc, would definitely produce a winner.

rhhardin said...

People read the tops of letters, so it's faster if the tops vary from each other as much as possible.

Original Mike said...

It's a 15 year phase in that will save lives. Possibly my life.

Must...resist...

Calypso Facto said...

jaltcoh said "It isn't an obviously bad policy to tell the city to use more readable lettering when it does this."

It IS an obviously bad policy for the supposedly FEDERAL (i.e. limited powers) government to go around telling cities and states what to do, down to the lettering of their street signs. Suggest, encourage (without penalty), provide supporting data? Sure. Mandate? Bad idea.

Original Mike said...

Why do street signs wear out after only 10 years? I find that hard to believe.

ABP said...

Is there a word for the now-universal practice of having one government agency making rules that another government agency uses as a reason why they "have to" spend a lot of money? I want to call it logrolling, but that's not quite right.

SteveR said...

Its the same problem in education, getting federal money means you have to plat by their rules. No such thing as "free".

AJ Lynch said...

I am surprised the govt has not mandated that signs be in Spanish as well?

AJ Lynch said...

Dtl - do they have street signs in Thailand?

former law student said...

It IS an obviously bad policy for the supposedly FEDERAL (i.e. limited powers) government to go around telling cities and states what to do, down to the lettering of their street signs.

Nixon's Silent Majority obviously approved of this Federal usurpation of local authority.

How much did his DOT's power grab depend on reaction to the excesses of the Chicago Seven?

I blame Spiro Agnew.

Hagar said...

If a tree falls in the forest, but there is no one there to hear it; does it make a sound?

The FHWA can only mandate that the street signs be changed to the new standard within 15 years where it has primary jurisdiction, i.e., the Interstate Highway System. For all other projects it can, and will, require that the new lettering standard be followed if, and only if, the project is constructed with Federal funds.

Lincolntf said...

They don't "wear out", for crying out loud. The State workers need something to pretend to do, so they keep a thousand schedules of BS maintenance like that.

MA now has a mile marker every one/fifth of a mile on their highways. One is pretty much always in view. All installed new within the last few years, which happens to be exactly when GPS/cell phones made them obsolete. Think about how many millions of dollars have been spent, and will be spent, on those useless holdovers. That's what Government calls a wildly successful project.

Scott M said...

They may not "wear out" persay, but anything that's out in the elements like that will, if nothing else, start to bleach out from the sun. This is particularly troublesome for road and traffic signs. I don't know how fast that happens and I'm sure there's a modern way to mitigate it, but it's still true, is it not?

Original Mike said...

This is a nice little example of the importance of limiting government; something that can be difficult to appreciate in the abstract.

Here we have a federal agency enforcing a rule with the intent to improve public safety. That's a good thing, right? This is the world liberals live in.

Yet, here we also have a federal agency enforcing a rule which, I'm sorry but it it saves even one live I'd be amazed, is going to cost us $25M in the midst of a budget crisis. This is the world conservatives live in. It's also called the real world.

Wait until the damn things wear out, for Christ sake.

Original Mike said...

MA now has a mile marker every one/fifth of a mile on their highways. One is pretty much always in view. All installed new within the last few years, which happens to be exactly when GPS/cell phones made them obsolete.

Yeah, I've noticed that too. In Wisconsin, they're every 0.1 miles. Did we really need this? What did it cost?

Lincolntf said...

Sign-making isn't exactly cutting edge science. The amount of over-engineering that goes into these municipal signs makes a quaint joke of the 75-year old Esso sign that still hangs outside my Grandfather's barn. And it's still legible.

Now, none of that means that someone doesn't have a study "proving" that a zillion people die every year because of poor sign maintenance (I'm sure AGW causes deterioration, too). I'm just jaded (experienced) from years of living/working around utterly corrupt, inadequate and inefficient public "servants" and the bureaucracies they hide in.

Sigivald said...

Must change them all by 2018, and most of them would be changed due to aging out by then anyway.

What'm I supposed to be outraged about, again?

Standards for signage are actually important, given how mobile people are, and how important street signs are for finding your way.

(Hell, the improved reflectivity alone is a worthwhile change.)

Contra lincolntf, it's not like they should just leave signs up until they're unreadable. That causes problems for The Precious Children, too, since they're also on the roads now and then.

Sign replacement is already in the budgets, as it has to be for any city.

Nobody's suggesting replacing all of them at once - as even the inflammatory article noted.

(Yeah, say "DC doesn't like the font" as if typography doesn't matter or affect readability, and pretend that mixed-case isn't easier to read.

There's no issue here. Since they're gonna replace all the signs over time anyway, they should improve them with better, more readable typography.)

Synova said...

"To me the all-caps "PERRY" is easier to read than "Perry." Am I the only one who feels this way?"

I'm sure you're not, but I also think they're right. Upper and lower case together give you more hints because it includes the risers and whatever the dangly bits are called... the btdlf letters and the jygqp letters... and then the round ones oce, the mnwu, etc.

Reading "Perry" from a distance is easier than "PERRY" which looks a little bit like "PARTY" but less like "Party".

Even so, it's gawd awful stupid to replace the signs with the new font in any other fashion than "as they require replacement."

Mayors and Governors should absolutely refuse.

Original Mike said...

It's also a good example of a weakness of the argument that politician A wants to cut spending but he won't tell us where. And that's not to say that politician A shouldn't tell us the big things he wants to cut. He should. But there no way in hell that politician A is going to know the myraid of $25M projects we don't need. And to find out would cost a ton of money in and of itself.

Cut the agencies budget by 10% and let them figure out which things are least important.

miller said...

I can't quite follow the argument here or at the newspaper, but upper/lower-case mix IS easier to read. Your Interstate signs are in U/L case, if you haven't noticed - and have been for years. The signs will be replaced anyway. If the feds have the power to do this by reason of statute authority, then that's just the way it is.

I think this is a tempest in a tea party.

Man, I can't believe I'm supporting this one. Next I'll be wearing love beads.

MadisonMan said...

Yeah, I've noticed that too. In Wisconsin, they're every 0.1 miles. Did we really need this?

For emergency responders, I guess, but unless they're flying in, like you I'm not sure why the precision to 0.1 miles is needed.

Lincolntf said...

Contra lincolntf, it's not like they should just leave signs up until they're unreadable.

No shit. The fact is that these signs will not need to be replaced for decades, but the few State workers who aren't out on comp or busy getting their Methadone treatment will need something to put on their time sheets in the meantime. Do I exaggerate? Not really. These signs are, of course, an avatar of other built-in inefficiencies that serve nobody's interest but the State.

Calypso Facto said...

Sigivald said: "Sign replacement is already in the budgets"

Ahh, the old "it doesn't have a cost since it's already in the budget" argument. And every agency with a budget knows they have to "use it or lose it". A great argument for zero-based budgeting if ever there was one.

MadisonMan said...

Even so, it's gawd awful stupid to replace the signs with the new font in any other fashion than "as they require replacement."

The articles suggests that's exactly what's happening.

This umbrage in the article is to sell papers and generate blog hits.

Synova said...

The article is imbecilic.

Never mind the street signs. Yes, signs need to be replaced so this is not an issue. The head-line implied that good signs had to be removed and new ones put up. If people are "outraged" it's because journalists lie to them. Egad.

It reminds me of the 2004 "Parents and College Students Fear a Draft" garbage, and it's an excellent example of why journalists are about the least trustworthy people out there.

Lincolntf said...

MadisonMan, we've had automobiles on our roads for a hundred years, and NOW they put these in? Exactly when the "need" for them is disappearing? There is no rational justification for the tens of millions of dollars spent on this boondoggle except to serve the interests of the State workers and the pols who need them. Nobody in MA bothers denying it so it's not like I'm making accusations out of school. Hell, they campaign on it.

Bruce Hayden said...

Cut the agencies budget by 10% and let them figure out which things are least important.

Definitely not a good idea with either government bureaucrats or politicians. Thus, when times are good, they give teachers raises and better benefits, and hire a lot of administrators. But then, when times get tough, they cut out school supplies and music. Next time the economy turns around, they all get raises again, and more administrators, and in the next downturn, they cut the library.

MadisonMan said...

Lincolntf, some context please. I have no idea what you are ranting about.

Lincolntf said...

Madison, you joined the conversation about the mile markers. I find it all too easy to believe that you are mystified by the context even when you're the one who provided it.

Kirk Parker said...

"They should phase them in."

Did you read the article, Lem? That's exactly what they are doing.


Big Mike,

Whether you're along or not, you're wrong. This is a well-studied phenomenon, the only think new is applying it to street signs.

Gabriel Hanna said...

There's nothing wrong with replacing street signs, and nothing wrong with having them in upper and lower case, which seems to me a self-evidently good idea.

But there is something seriously wrong with such a thing being mandated by the national government.

FLS and downtownlad and their ilk are gleefully pointing to Nixon and Bush, because they are trolls. It doesn't matter whose butt was in the Oval Office when the rule was put in. When you have huge bureaucracies full of people who can't be fired and only the guys at the very top change from election to election, this is the sort of thing you get--budget-justifying top-down pettifoggery.

The font of street signs can surely be handled at city, county, or state level. This isn't China.

Scott M said...

Gabriel

I do certainly love learning new words. Thanks for that.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@FLS:

As you know perfectly well, Whitman hired an employee from an employment agency. That agency asked the employee for proof of ID and work eligibility, which the employee provided. Those documents turned out to be fake, and the employee was committing identity theft against whatever American citizen has that SSN.

Now you think it is an outrageous violation of a Mexican-looking person's civil rights to ask for their immigration status. You have said so over and over.

So, quit trolling people for "consistency" and STFU. Thanks.

Kirk Parker said...

Gabriel, there's nothing wrong with national uniformity as long as it's voluntary. And that's exactly what it is, if the many commenters here are correct.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Gabriel, there's nothing wrong with national uniformity as long as it's voluntary. And that's exactly what it is, if the many commenters here are correct.

I agree that there isn't. I think it does not need to be mandated from the top.

If fifty states have the same law because it was tried in Oregon and California first and worked well and everyone else copied it, then that's obviously a separate issue, isn't it. I don't see why there needs to be a Federal manual specifying street sign fonts.

traditionalguy said...

The sound is the the sound of flushing of $27,500,000 down the drain. If a serious person saw this happen, he would conclude that the Federal Bureaucracy is mentally ill to the point of being dangerous to itself and others...but we have always known that on a smaller scale. Why not fire all of the insane employees? But that will require a gutsy point guard running our team that is not a RINO compromiser for kickbacks in the form of earmarks for "friends".

Gabriel Hanna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AJ Lynch said...

Gabriel:

Re the Whitman smear, it was outrageous to me to see an illegal immigrant standing brazenly at a press conference where they were libeling a candidate for governor in our largest state!

You could not make this stuff up if you tried.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@FLS:

http://www.justice.gov/crt/osc/htm/facts.php

Employers may not, on the basis of citizenship status or national origin, request more or different documents than are required to verify employment eligibility and identity, reject reasonably genuine-looking documents or specify certain documents over others. U.S. citizens and all work authorized immigrants are protected from document abuse...
As long as the documents are allowed by law and appear to be genuine on their face and to relate to the person, they should be accepted. Not to do so may constitute unlawful discrimination.


So if Whitman had said to her maid, "I don't think your documents are real and we need to send them to an expert", the maid would have had grounds to sue for discrimination. Just the way you think it should be.

So knock off your drive-by slanders and "consistency" bullshit, mkay? It was AGAINST THE LAW for Whitman to reject her maid's documents as long as they "looked" real.

And that's what people like you DEMANDED on civil rights grounds.

Kirk Parker said...

Pogo,

"Comic Sans"

Given they way they're holding us hostage, don't you think Kidnap would be a little more appropriate?

Jason said...

Alright, libtards... WTF is the 10th amendment supposed to mean, and why did the Framers include it in the Bill of Rights?

Be specific.

Quaestor said...

NYC to Department of Transportation:

UPPER CASE THIS!

wv: denduck - Anatus muralus

former law student said...

As you know perfectly well, Whitman hired an employee from an employment agency.

But the Poizners clean up after themselves, as far as I've been able to find out.

Had Meg paid attention to politics over the years, she might have learned from the sad cases of Zoe Baird, Kimba Wood, Linda Chavez, and Bernie Kerik (of course maids were the last of Bernie's worries) not to hire illegal household workers.

Quaestor said...

NYC to Department of Transportation

I GOT YOUR UNIFORM TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICE RIGHT HERE!

wv: felittan - popular tanning salon premium... nah, ain't going there.

Big Mike said...

Things I would like to know:

(1) If NYC is going to be allowed to change out the signs more or less at the same pace that they'd be replacing their street signs anyway, then where is the story?

(2) If the true cost of the sign changes is $27.5M (and keep in mind that it probably isn't), then where was the cost-benefit analysis that indicated that it is worthwhile? How many lives are projected to be saved, injuries staved off, etc.

(3) This one's specifically for Kirk Parker. If lower case lettering (vice all capitals) is a "well studied phenomenon") then can you link me to some of the studies so I can see that what was mandated is in fact what the results of the studies would imply?

(4) Has anybody authenticated the alleged 2003 IRS letter to verify that it did, indeed, come from the IRS? And, follow up, if it is authentic, are Christine Whitman's fingerprints anywhere on it?

Gabriel Hanna said...

@FLS:

Had Meg paid attention to politics over the years, she might have learned from the sad cases of Zoe Baird, Kimba Wood, Linda Chavez, and Bernie Kerik (of course maids were the last of Bernie's worries) not to hire illegal household workers.

Yeah, keep digging, FLS.

Whitman verified the maid's employment status to the extent that the law allows. To have done more would be ILLEGAL DISCRIMINATION, jackass.

If you refuse to accept documents, you are illegally discriminating. An employer is not allowed to decide if documents are fake. That is the law.

That is the law YOU support. So stfu.

Even if you get a letter saying there is an SSN mismatch, it is ILLEGAL for you to fire an employee based on that.

The law prevents employers from questioning the legal status of workers.

The law YOU SUPPORT.

Read the goddamn DOJ webpage. Other people who read your lies will, and they'll see what DOJ says, and judge between you and me who is full of shit.

http://www.justice.gov/crt/osc/htm/facts.php

As long as the documents are allowed by law and appear to be genuine on their face and to relate to the person, they should be accepted. Not to do so may constitute unlawful discrimination....

10. An employee has presented me with a document that looks "fake". Can I refuse to accept it?

You may refuse to accept a document only if it does not reasonably appear to be genuine or to relate to the person. Employers are not expected to be document experts and should not refuse to accept documents based on superficial irregularities. However, if the document does not reasonably appear to be genuine or to relate to the individual, the employer may ask the employee for additional documentation and should not employ the person if he or she is unable to comply....

...Accept documentation presented by an employee if it establishes identity and employment eligibility; is included in the list of acceptable documents; and reasonably appears to be genuine and to relate to the person.

Accept documents that appear to be genuine. You are not expected to be a document expert, and establishing the authenticity of a document is not your responsibility...

So again, FLS, stfu. Were you sick they day they taught law at law school?

Quaestor said...

The problem is we have a national legislative culture than measures success by the volume of law passed in a given session regardless of whether those laws are objectively beneficial or even rational.

What we need is a Congress that can resist the urge to fuck with us.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Big Mike:

(4) Has anybody authenticated the alleged 2003 IRS letter to verify that it did, indeed, come from the IRS? And, follow up, if it is authentic, are Christine Whitman's fingerprints anywhere on it?

There was no IRS letter. A letter, if there was one, came from Social Security Administration, which does not ordinarily send letters for people with fewer than 10 employees. They send a letter first to the employee, and then 10 days later to the employer. The housemaid in this case was responsible for mail...

Gloria Allread claims to have a letter from SSA showing an SSN mismatch. It is illegal to fire someone based on this letter alone, even if it was genuine.

If Whitman had fired the maid then, FLS would be going on and on about how Whitman illegally discriminates against Mexicans.

Michael said...

The more I think about this the happier I am that the Govt. is looking out for us. I am afraid, however, they have not given the same sustained and focused thought on the fonts that are being used. Is there any chance that the wrong font could undo the good of changing out the CAPS? Someone, hopefully, has looked into it and concluded that the font is acceptable. Will the signs be of the same size? Hopefully if they are screwed into place we will be using metric so we might have to change out the fittings or the posts. Lot to think about actually.

Big Mike said...

@FLS, point of information. The issues with Baird and Wood were that they failed to pay employment taxes on their hired help. The illegal immigrant that Chavez gave money to was not her employee, and Chavez admits that she always was aware of her employee's immigration status. Whitman relied on the employment agency to verify the maid's credentials.

Why don't you admit it? The main problem you have with Whitman is that she's guilty of running for office as a female Republican. Creeps like you get driven into a frothing-at-the-mouth frenzy by black and female Republicans. Sort of like Confederates during the Civil War when confronted with black Union troops.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Pictures of the maid's documents are here:

http://dailycaller.com/2010/09/30/gloria-allred-makes-accusation-against-california-republican-gubernatorial-candidate-on-eve-of-election/

If Whitman or the employment agency had refused to hire her based on these fake documents, they would have been in violation of Federal law.

As anyone can see by reading the FAQ at Department of Justice to which I gave a link.

http://www.justice.gov/crt/osc/htm/facts.php

Big Mike said...

@Gabriel, you are perfectly correct on all counts (esp. my mistake about "IRS" vice "SSA").

But I'd still like to know whether there is any proof that Whitman actually saw the letter.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Big Mike:

@FLS, point of information.

Of course FLS is going to pretend that apples and oranges are the same thing.

Whitman is a victim of fraud, and her maid is guilty of identity theft as well as violating the immigration laws that my wife and I put a great deal of money and effort to stay on the right side of, and FLS is trying to pretend that it all of a sudden cares about immigration enforcement and Whitman knowingly exploits illegals.

Big Mike said...

@Gabriel, I have a dream that some day I will get FLS to realize that he's basically a bigot, and that 21st century left-wing bigotry is every bit as unattractive as the white supremacy bigotry I demonstrated against fifty years ago.

AJ Lynch said...

The maid present documents, a soc sec card and a drivers license, to Whitman that would indicate she was here legally.

Whitman is not at fault here - the illegal immigrant is looking for a money grab and her attorney is trying to use the maid to help swing an election to her liberal pals.

If Trooper was here, I can only imagine what he'd say about lawyers.

former law student said...

The issues with Baird and Wood were that they failed to pay employment taxes on their hired help.

On their illegal alien hired help.

The illegal immigrant that Chavez gave money to was not her employee

Right, we know this because Chavez said so. Why didn't GW take her word for it instead of throwing her under the bus?

Back to Whitman: Which forged documents (1 from List A or 1 each from List B and List C) did the illegal alien present to her?
http://www.justice.gov/crt/osc/htm/facts.php



List A
Documents that Establish Both Identity and Employment Eligibility
• U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport Card.
• Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551).
• Foreign passport that contains a temporary I-551 stamp or temporary I-551 printed notation on a machine readable immigrant visa.
• Employment Authorization Document that contains a photograph (Form I-766).
• For non-immigrants authorized to work for a specific employer incident to status, a foreign passport with an Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94 or Form I-94A, bearing the same name as the passport and containing an endorsement of the alien's non-immigrant status, as long as the period of endorsement has not yet expired.
• Passport from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) or the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) with Form I-94 or Form I-94A indicating non-immigrant admission under the Compact of Free Association Between the United States and the FSM or RMI.


OR


List B
Documents that Establish Identity
• Driver's license or ID card issued by a State or outlying possession of the United States provided it contains a photograph or information such as name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color, and address.
• ID card issued by federal, state or local government agencies or entities, provided it contains a photograph or information such as name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color, and address.
• School ID card with a photograph.
• Voter's registration card.
• U.S. Military card or draft record.
• Military dependent's ID card.
• U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Card.
• Native American tribal document.
• Driver's license issued by a Canadian government authority.
For persons under age 18 who are unable to present a document listed above:
• School record or report card;
• Clinic, doctor, or hospital record; or
• Day-care or nursery school record.


AND


List C
Documents that Establish Employment Eligibility
• U.S. Social Security Account Number card issued by the Social Security Administration (other than a card that specifies on its face that it does not authorize employment in the United States, is not valid for employment, or valid only with DHS work authorization).
• Certification of Birth Abroad issued by the Department of State (Form FS-545).
• Certificate of Report of Birth issued by the Department of State (Form DS-1350).
• Original or certified copy of a birth certificate issued by a state, county, municipal authority or outlying possession of the United States bearing an official seal.
• Native American tribal document.
• U.S. Citizen ID Card (Form I-197).
• ID Card for use of Resident Citizen in the United States (Form I-179).
• Employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) (other than those listed under List A), including:
(1) a Form I-94 identifying the holder as an asylee (by stating "asylum", "asylee" or appropriate provision of law), or
(2) other documentation issued by DHS (or the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)) that identifies the holder as an asylee, lawful permanent resident, refugee (except for the Form I-94 identifying the holder as a refugee, which is considered a receipt only).

Big Mike said...

@Gabriel, I need also to consider the possibility that as a former law student (and therefore perhaps a current lawyer) our friend is merely using this blog to sharpen his skills for what to do when he is arguing a case and both the facts and the law are against him.

madawaskan said...

Gabriel-

If Whitman or the employment agency had refused to hire her based on these fake documents, they would have been in violation of Federal law.

Woah hadn't even thought of that-excellent point.

What about the "ethics" of Allred?

She's exposed her client as a; well the list gets pretty long.

Exactly what is Allred's charge against Whitman?

And perhaps the better question might be who is Allred's real client because Nicky Diaz Satillian [sp] doesn't seem to be well served by this.

AJ Lynch said...

On the maid's job application, she said 8 of her 11 siblings were here in the USA. I wonder how many are illegal like her?

Gabriel Hanna said...

@FLS:

Which forged documents (1 from List A or 1 each from List B and List C) did the illegal alien present to her?

I posted the link to the images, jackass.

Driver's license (B)and Social Security Card (C). You only need those. Don't you work? Did you EVER work?

Here's the link again:

http://dailycaller.com/2010/09/30/gloria-allred-makes-accusation-against-california-republican-gubernatorial-candidate-on-eve-of-election/

If you can't click on it, cut and paste into your browser, genius.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@FLS:

From the AP article, which would have been SO GODDAMNED HARD TO FIND:

Her campaign released employment applications filled out when the housekeeper was hired in 2000, including a copy of a Social Security card and a California driver’s license, that indicated the woman was a legal resident.

http://dailycaller.com/2010/09/29/att-whitman-knew-housekeeper-was-in-us-illegally/

madawaskan said...

fls-

There are actual photocopies of the documentation provided to Whitman which supposedly whitman released to the media.

A 1991 Califorina driver's license, a social security card forged or adulterated from her sisters, the signed statement that she was legal.

This is all IIRC.

Go google it, then we can debate it.

madawaskan said...

Here is what Ic an find in two minutes-

The campaign released employment applications filled out when the former housekeeper was hired in 2000, including a copy of a Social Security card and a California driver's license, that indicated the woman was a legal resident. Whitman's campaign has said Diaz Santillan admitted to using her sister's documents when she applied for the $23-an-hour job.

Read more:

San Fransisco Chronicle

Gabriel Hanna said...

@madawaskan:

Go google it, then we can debate it.

Oh, no. FLS doesn't use the google. It demands everybody back up everything while it freely gets to post whatever baseless assertion it cares to make. The burden of proof is ALWAYS on everyone else.

My favorite tactic is "Oh, are you a mullah? That's not in my Koran. Is your source a mullah?" Then when you quote actual mullahs, silence.

madawaskan said...

Damn html hung me up or I would have got that posted in the two minutes.

Big Mike said...

@Gabriel, there's no point in losing your temper at FLS. Either he's playing a lawyer's game, and badly, or he's a fool, in which case why bother?

The possibility that it's what we mathematicians call the "inclusive OR," meaning that both might be true, has not escaped my consideration.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@BigMike:

@Gabriel, there's no point in losing your temper at FLS. Either he's playing a lawyer's game, and badly, or he's a fool, in which case why bother?

Wise advice, sir, and I will attempt to follow it.

FLS, I apologize for being abusive. It doesn't matter how wrong whatever it is you are doing happens to be, it doesn't justify losing my temper.

AJ Lynch said...

Gabriel:
It is excusable when America's Pravda continues to play this as a big foulup by Whitman and downplay the maid's use of false documents and use of an attorney who is all about the money grab and liberal agenda.

madawaskan said...

Gabriel-

Well hell let's ask former law student the more abstract, easier to bulldinky question;

former law student-

Nicky Diaz Santillan walks into your office and tells you her story.

How ethically do you expose Nicky Diaz Santillan to all of the potential charges she now faces?

Gabriel Hanna said...

It's really hard for me not to get angry about immigration issues. Almost all of my foreign colleagues have to deal with this expensive and time-consuming nonsense, as well as my wife and I, but when Mexicans are involved all of a sudden it becomes a human-rights issue. Large blocs on the left and the right conspire to defeat any sort of meaningful enforcement or fairness. This is why it's illegal to reject fake documents. What honest intention could have put that provision in?

It's a kabuki dance. Put in the requirement, to satisfy the rubes who think furriners will take their jarrbs, but make it unenforceable. And for those who are Mexican and break the law, amnesty.

former law student said...

Guys, just because my post appears after yours doesn't mean I'm ignoring your posts. Once I start typing in the comment window I do not refresh the page.

Here's the deal: Meg Whitman, in effect, stepped in dog poop. She may yet be able to wipe it off -- many of you are busy helping her scrub -- but some stain will remain. In contrast, my preferred candidate, the Poiz, remains stain-free. Does this make Meg a bad person? No. But it does make her one of a class of people who historically were thrown under the bus.

This makes me wonder why the Megster did not reveal the hiring mistake herself, on her own schedule, when it would cause the least damage to the GOP. Ego? Hubris? Arrogance?

Big Mike said...

@Gabriel, I didn't say you had to apologize to him. He was deliberately goading all of us; it was for him to apologize.

And I am sympathetic as regards your post of 4:25. Some years ago I was trying to arrange an H1B for a woman who was, thanks to her graduate studies, literally the only person in the world with her specific technical knowledge. And it was a b*tch to do from my side; I can only begin to imagine what it was like from hers.

former law student said...

He was deliberately goading all of us; it was for him to apologize.

You guys apparently have grasped the truism that perception is reality -- why not realize that applies to Meg Whitman, too?

madawaskan said...

former law student-

Guys, just because my post appears after yours doesn't mean I'm ignoring your posts. Once I start typing in the comment window I do not refresh the page.

Ya this happens a lot-and let's face it-I get that you are outnumbered at Althouse.

I'm out of here.

But the timing is really all you have to know to figure out who Gloria Allred's real client is.

**********************************

How about a personal attachment to someone that was around her kids for 2 years.

Unlike Allred, Whitman didn't think that Nicky Diaz Santillian needed to be *outed* as a personal example or pawn to meet her own ends.

Gloria Allred , OTOH-

No problem!

Big Mike said...

... my preferred candidate, the Poiz ...

The "Poiz"? How did Brown get that for a nickname? Is it because the last time he was governor he thoroughly poisoned the future of his state?

madawaskan said...

fls-

Try answering the ethics question-give that a shot.

I'm going to be out for awhile but I'll check back to see what you got.

Don't want to think you wasted too much time on Lochner.

former law student said...

The "Poiz"?

http://stevepoizner.com/

Remaindered at Amazon:

Mount Pleasant: My Journey from Creating a Billion-Dollar Company to Teaching at a Struggling Public High School

mad: All I can suggest is that Whitman's maid contact a competent immigration lawyer.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@FLS:

This makes me wonder why the Megster did not reveal the hiring mistake herself, on her own schedule, when it would cause the least damage to the GOP. Ego? Hubris? Arrogance?

A desire not to have a family friend deported? See, you always have to blame the victim.

Whitman didn't fake documents. Whitman didn't make it illegal to check up on documents.

There is no obligation to report illegal aliens. I don't report the ones I know. Even if you do, most likely nothing will happen anyway.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@FLS:

You guys apparently have grasped the truism that perception is reality -- why not realize that applies to Meg Whitman, too?

Perception is NOT reality. Reality is reality. I dishonor my profession otherwise.

FLS, I react to Rush Limbaugh and other creationists on evolution, and anyone on this blog who repeats baseless accusations climate scientists, the same way I reacted to your baseless accusation.

All for the same reason. You do not get to make up your facts.

Big Mike said...

@FLS, unless you plan to initiate and conduct a write-in campaign for Steve Poizner, and considering his endorsement of Whitman he'd probably disavow you, the choice is between Governor Moonbeam and Meg Whitman.

A case can be made for electing Moonbeam -- such an act of economic suicide on the part of California voters would lead to the total bankruptcy of the state, which in turn might well sound a wake-up call for New England and the two states further up the coast.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@FLS:

Megster did not reveal the hiring mistake herself

See, you can't help yourself, you have to keep doing it.

There was no "mistake". Whitman (actually, the employment agency she hired) did what by law she was bound to do, accept documents that appear valid.

To do otherwise is illegal. Whitman's maid knew she was illegal, said was legal, and produced fake documents to prove it--documents that the law bound Whitman to accept as valid. As soon as the maid told Whitman otherwise, which wasn't until 2009, she fired the maid, as the law bound her to do.

There was not a "mistake". There was fraud, and Whitman was the victim. Everyone here knows it, and now you know it--but you'll pretend not to.

AJ Lynch said...

You can't argue with a doctrinaire individual. Logic and fair play escapes them.

Synova said...

Waitaminute...

Gloria Allred?

AST said...

Idiots! But to be fair, I think that if anybody had asked Obama, he'd have said to apply the rule only to new signs or not at all.
But always put OBAMA in uppercase and bold.


On the other hand, there's no telling how much this may have funneled into the hands of city unions and sign making companies.

AJ Lynch said...

Synova- yes the illegal immigrant's attorney is Gloria Allred.

AST said...

Oops! I seem to have posted about the change of road signs to all caps to a discussion of Meg Whitman's ex-maid. Sorry!

Gabriel Hanna said...

@AST

Oops! I seem to have posted about the change of road signs to all caps to a discussion of Meg Whitman's ex-maid. Sorry!

Yeah, well, the discussion of all-caps got boring pretty quickly. FLS posted a drive-by about Whitman hiring an illegal, and I compounded the problem by responding to it, and led everybody off track. My fault.

Rocco said...

Pogo wrote:
"Next the Feds can can turn its attention to the vexing question as to whether toilet paper should be put 'over' or 'under'."

Pogo, as others have pointed out, there is a clear safety issue involved here, and I cannot believe you are taking safety so cavalierly. A quick look at the Federal Toilet Paper Regulations shows that there is, in fact, a clear safety element to the over/under issue that you so snarkily dismissed.

Further, these regulations also include the ISO 9000-certified procedures for uninstalling an empty cartridge as well as for installing a new role in a safe, proper manner, being sure to to get the over/under alignment properly set. One step frequently missed in non-commercial applications (perhaps because commercial ventures are more aware of the significant penalties for non-compliance with these federal regulations) is the proper 'corner fold' for a newly installed roll.

Sadly, the safety inspectors lack the necessary authority to enter any location where a roll may potentially be installed, leaving them little choice but to cite and fine 'after the fact' when it is discovered that a role was improperly installed when some other incident took place.

If you have any trouble finding the proper installation procedures in the voluminous regulation on the subject, just look for them right before the 'Sheryl Crowe' regulations instructing for the proper usage of the aforementioned toilet paper.

Kirk Parker said...

Big Mike,

Sorry, you'll have to do your own homework here. You might google something like "readability studies" or "typographic readability" or something like that...

Big Mike said...

@Kirk, sorry but that's not how it works. You've asserted that it's been studied and I assert that it hasn't been studied in any meaningful way.

It's up to you to prove me wrong. If you can.

Kirk Parker said...

Sorry right back at you: if you really want to find out, go ahead and do the research. My knowledge comes from 25+ years ago, when publishing literacy materials was part of my job, and the internet was few dozen PDP-11's with the occasional VAX or bigger system thrown in, so I think I can be excused for not having any links at hand.

On the other hand, if all you want to do is score debating points, be my guest.

jaed said...

When we are dealing with street signs, however, readability studies are not on point. It's true there are studies that show that reading blocks of text in mixed case results in quicker reading and better retention than reading the same block of text in all caps, and that this is fairly well known.

However, a street sign is not a block of text and the cognitive task of recognizing a street name is different enough from the cognitive task of reading and retaining large text blocks that studies of the latter can't be applied appropriately to the former. It would not greatly surprise me if studies existed on this question, but if so I haven't seen them and would be grateful for a reference. (On theoretical grounds I can see it going either way: mixed case makes it easier to recognize individual letters and the characteristic outline of a word, but all caps allows for the characters themselves to be larger [assuming a constant sign height], improving recognizability at a distance.)

Kirk Parker said...

jaed,

Interesting point.